Global WACh

March 23, 2022

Tunza Mwana study researchers enroll 350 participants amid COVID-19 limitations

Global WACh’s Tunza Mwana study recently celebrated an important milestone.  The team has been working in Migori County, Kenya, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to enroll mother-baby pairs in a long term, prospective cohort study. sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and led by Christine McGrath, Grace Aldrovandi, and Benson Singa. The study was created to evaluate the association between maternal HIV infection and infant health outcomes through breast-milk mediated pathways, which can help practitioners determine the best possible care for HIV positive mothers and their children.


With over 1,500 pregnant women in Migori Country screened by November 2021, the research team has now enrolled 350 mother-baby pairs. This impressive milestone was achieved through the dedication of the research team, who gracefully navigated complications with the risks of in-person recruiting amidst a pandemic, initial government restrictions on non-COVID research, numerous medical strikes, and supply chain challenges. Despite these significant obstacles, staff at the Migori County Referral Hospital and St. Joseph’s Mission Hospital met recruitment goals within one year of study initiation. 


The Tunza Mwana research team will now focus on follow-up visits over the next two years. In  the next few months, analysis and preliminary results of enrollment and early study visits will be available, and specimens will be sent to labs for further analysis for results to be examined for abstracts and publications. Congratulations to the study team!  We cannot wait to see the results from your work.